It’s been quite a while since you’ve heard from me.
And before I begin once again sending more articles, advice and opportunities, I want you to know why I’ve been away.
In late January, after a series of health issues that had been getting gradually worse for a long time, my wife passed away.
Vicki and I were together for 44 years. That’s a long time to share both joy and sorrow, work and play, friends and family, dogs and cats, Christmas decorations and summers at the beach, and of course movies and television. She was the love of my life, and losing her has been awful.
Then, right after having a wonderful, loving memorial with Vicki’s friends and family, along came the virus – which I must say didn’t help my grieving at all. So I’ve had to shut down for a while.
Even though you may have already known about Vicki’s passing, I’ve been very torn about sharing this news with everyone. I wasn’t sure if something this personal and painful would be appropriate in a mass email. I didn’t want it to seem like I was just looking for sympathy (even though the sympathy I’ve received already has been wonderfully thoughtful and kind). And I didn’t want bum you out by discussing sadness that has no storytelling lesson behind it.
But the truth is, the thought of sending a new newsletter or offer, after being MIA for so long, just felt weird. You, and all my followers, have been so supportive of me, and such a source of fulfillment and happiness for all these years, that to hide the personal feelings and struggles I’ve had over the last few months would be ungrateful and dishonest.
At the heart of everything I teach and believe about storytelling is the value of emotional truth. And at this moment, this is my truth.
I wish I could offer some deep insight and understanding about grief. Because right now we’re all sad and scared. But I have nothing new to share – nothing you haven’t heard, or learned for yourself if you’ve ever lost someone you loved deeply. I don’t even have a good story to share about what I’ve been going through. Not yet, anyway.
Grief is individual, it’s painful, it changes every day, and it lasts as long as you need it to. All you can do is allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling, gratefully accept whatever love and understanding you’re offered, and trust that the pain won’t ever go away completely, but it will gradually change for the better, replaced by more and more happy memories.
Meanwhile, I’ve been emerging from my withdrawal into this new reality we’re all facing. I’m coaching again, I’ve made a few online appearances, and I’m working on some videos and webinars and courses that you’ll hear about soon enough. I’ll also start sending the newsletters again, and offer whatever other ideas I can to help you tell great stories.
But for now, let me just thank you again for listening, and understanding, and offering me so much support even when you didn’t know you were.